Cabinet approves lowering of age limit for old-age pension

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 09, 2011 Published on June 09, 2011

More poor senior citizens will now be able to receive old age pension.

This is because the Centre has lowered the eligible age for availing pension from 65 to 60 years under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension (IGNOAP) scheme. A decision to this effect was approved by the Union Cabinet today.

The Government had in 2007 launched IGNOAP to provide assistance to senior citizens falling in the below poverty line (BPL) category to sustain themselves.

The lowering of the age limit, which is effective from April 1, will benefit an additional 72.32 lakh persons in the age-group of 60-64 years.

This would lead to an additional outgo of Rs 1,736 crore for the Centre for providing old age pension of Rs 200 per month per beneficiary in the age group of 60-64 years, Ms Ambika Soni, Information and Broadcasting Minister, told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.

Currently, about 169 lakh persons above the age group of 65 years and living below the poverty line are availing themselves of the benefits under IGNOAPS.

The Union Cabinet also today approved enhanced pension (central assistance) of Rs 500 a month for persons of 80 years and above and living below the poverty line. This revised norm will also be effective from April 1 this year.

It is estimated that 26.49 lakh persons would become eligible to receive this enhanced central assistance of Rs 500 a month, Ms Soni added.

For providing the enhanced pension of Rs 500 a month, the additional outgo for the Centre would be Rs 953 crore.

The total additional outgo for the Centre from these measures would be Rs 2,770 crore including 3 per cent administrative expenses, Ms Soni said.

> krsrivats@thehindu.co.in

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Published on June 09, 2011
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